whale watching

A recap from the whale museum’s history: 1992-1995

The Húsavík Whale Museum opened an anniversary exhibition in May 2019 to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

In the next weeks, some parts of the museum’s story will be reveiled here on the museum blog. We begin our journey in 1992 because as in all good stories there is always a preface behind it.

The origin of the Húsavík whale museum can be traced to whale watching tours that were operated in Höfn from 1992-1994 on the initiative of Discover the World. In the first trip were a british guide Mark Carwardine and Ásbjörn Björgvinsson which would later establish the Húsavík whale museum. The tours took about 8 hours. In 1994 scheduled whale watching tours in Húsavík were operated for the first time by the company Sjóferðir Arnars. In the following year a few groups arrived to Húsavik for whale watching, f.e. from Discover the World. Whale sightings had decreased in Höfn at the time but Húsavík which was known as an old minke whaling area had also its advantages for a whole lot shorter distances than the tours in Höfn‘s area. In 1995 a whale watching course was held in Keflavík where foreign speakers gave an inside knowledge about whale watching as a phenomenon. One of the speakers was Erich Hoyt. By the summer of 1995 two whale watching companies, North Sailing and Sjóferðir Arnars were opertaring from Húsavík harbor on a daily basis.

Mark Carwardine with the Húsavík Whale Museum’s former project manager Huld Hafliðadóttir.
Erich Hoyt has been connected with the icelandic whale watching industry since its establishment. His latest visit to Iceland in 2019 included a talk at the Whale Museum’s Whale Congress.
A humpback whale takes a dive in the early years of icelandic whale watching.